MELCHER-DALLAS, Iowa — As COVID-19 continues to change the way Iowans live their lives, a community still found a way to pay respects to one of their own.
Seventy-six-year-old Dennis Murr was beloved in his community. He is described by his wife, Margaret Murr, as a humble man with a big heart. As a longtime farmer and delivery driver for a local hardware store, Dennis was well-known within the community.
On April 8, Dennis unexpectedly died of a heart attack. His family knew because of social distancing regulation that they would be unable to host a funeral or a visitation.
“It was very hard, because you know we couldn’t have a visitation. Not only did he have farmer friends, but also other acquaintances and I know there would have been a line forever, just for visitation,” said Margaret.
The Murr family proceeded with a procession to Columbia Cemetery from Pierschbacher Funeral Home, a route that would take them past their home across a local highway. Little did they know there was a surprise waiting for them.
“Our funeral director suggested that we take two of his nice John Deere tractors and put them in the driveway of our fields that way would go by it on our way to the cemetery,” said Margaret “I could see down the road, the neighbor close to us had his tractor in the driveway and I thought well he just was honoring because, you know he saw Dennis. And then as we went down the road there was tractor after tractor people standing out waving at us.”
Waiting at Columbia Cemetery, a line of old coworkers and friends waving to pay their respects.
“It just filled my heart and I just thought he’s looking down and thinking, wow, I can’t believe this. I know he saw, and he would have been thrilled,” said Margaret.
The family still hopes to host a celebration of life in the future.
*Photography courtesy to Cindy Bauer and Wil Bauer*